Archive for June, 2011

June 21, 2011

Outline for a United Progressive Blog

Everyone has different ideas, but I really believe we, left and centre people, need to carve out a corner of the media for ourselves, without the filters of billionaires being applied to our news.

How would a united Progressive Blog work:

From talking with a lot of people about how they envision a United blog, the following seems to be the easiest way in the beginning, for the editor and contributor, after a little while, this can be re-examined, to see if people are happy, or if other editors come on board to reduce the work load of a single editor. Hopefully, this will grow, but until then the first few people to get on board will be lab rats

If you agree to be a contributor, you do nothing different. You keep doing your blog, website, flickr stream. That way, if anything happens to the united blog /website, you don’t lose any of your work.

An editor, will do an “around the grounds”, visit each blog, website, flickr, and chose a selection of articles, images, news, analysis, opinion, with a mix of topics. Publishing frequency and time is flexible at this point.

Posts are then arranged, links to the top added (Post originally on Bob The Builders blog) footnote at the end (Bob The Builder blogs about issues with building, for this post and more like it, visit his blog. Inclusion on this blog does not imply that Bob endorses any other post included here) this is flexible, you can get it to say anything you want.

It is not about making one “big” blog, it is about bringing together smaller blogs, infrequent bloggers, websites about obscure but important topics. It is about voices other than those of foreign billionaires and mining magnates.

What do you as a contributor / potential contributor do?

Say YES, that is it. By giving permission for your work to be featured on a united blog you will be trusting an editor to not change it, or misrepresent you. In return you will be with other bloggers, someone might come to read them, and stay to read you, and vice versa, with a lot of links back to your work.

Agree your work can be feature on a shared left-leaning, progressive blog. There may be exceptions, for a particular post you don’t want shared, that is your right. However, if an editor has to check with each post, everyone will get annoyed very quickly. You don’t need emails all the time, the editor doesn’t want to be harassing you.

You have the right to say No, it is taking too much traffic from my blog, I can’t contribute anymore, or I don’t agree with all the other posts, I don’t want to be associated with them. However, where you might lose clicks, a post on a shared blog might generate a lot more comments than on your personal blog you might gain a reputation.

On the other hand, you could say No to being a contributor, but offer posts occasionally.

Also, below are just some of the issues that have been raised in how a united blog (Independent News Media, name subject to change) may work:

money, copyright, fairness, balance, disclaimers, submissions

That is a big one, since a united blog isn’t owned by anyone as such, contributors won’t be able to be paid. Otherwise, it would be me (99 of Turn Left) paying people out of my own pocket. Just the same, for an editor to make money by essentially copy and pasting other peoples work (although, hopefully as this grows, that in itself will be a big job) doesn’t seem fair either.

Since no-one has ever offered TL donations, I’m not sure what I would say if I was editor and someone offered money.

In order to reduce the work of the editor, and annoying correspondence between you and editor, if you agree to share your work on the United blog, you allow your work to be copyleft on a united blog.
Copyright allows 10% of a work, if all the united blog was, was an excerpt and a link there is nothing revolutionary about that, anyone could be doing that right now.

For a united blog, that brings together diverse topics in one place, whole posts, or larger than 10% would be taken. However, there would be lots of links, to the original post and source blog/website, and notices that it is used with permission, and if anyone else wants to use it, contact the original creator.

Then there is the chance a post might be changed – your to you’re, or they’re to their, Gillard to Ms/PM Gillard – that kind of editing annoy some people

Content creators would be sharing their work, they would be giving up something, control over their work. (But gaining a wider audience). And copying and pasting every post or article doesn’t seem fair either. For people who write/post less frequently, they might also want a day or two where their work is exclusive on their own sites. On the other hand, someone might be annoyed that their work isn’t featured more often. Without contributors there is no blog and no one wants to feel like they are working hard crafting each post or image for someone else to get the glory. So being fair to everyone is a big point.

A united blog would be more than just a post-host. It would contain a variety of topics, not just different versions of the same topic, a diverse mix. If the posts aren’t related, for eg Australian politics, or alternative to daily news, then it won’t appeal to anyone.

Disclaimers that just because someones work is featured, does not mean they endorse the contents of other posts, etc. Posts are not substitutes for financial, medical, legal advice, etc.

To reduce the workload of an editor/editors, the blog would feature little to no original content, at the beginning. Anyone who does want to contribute but don’t have a blog could submit it to a participating blog, Turn Left accepts submissions. This would stop an editor becoming like an owner and it would continue to be a united blog. Other people might feel differently.

Independent News Media – bringing bloggers together

Independent News Media


(2 july 2012)

Gathering opinions from bloggers and other interested participants, it seems there is a desire to see a united progressive blog portal for Left and Centre bloggers and webmasters.

It would be an opt-in situation.

The preferred format at this stage would see bloggers continue to blog as they normally would on their own blogs, but agree that content is copy-left for a united blog.

Any posts on the united would have links back to the original blog or website and original post and copyright would stay with the original poster.

This has several advantages:
– If an editor takes the united blog in a different direction, it is easy to opt-out, and you don’t lose any of your work

– Because it is opt-in, all contributors – whether written or image – keeps their own copyright, (and if anyone is unhappy about how a piece is reproduced, it is better to sort it out misunderstandings, rather walk away, together we are stronger)

– More exposure for your existing blog, if people like your style or speciality, they can find more of the same on your blog, and know that the piece they found on the united blog will be there, and others like it

– For bloggers-webmasters concerned about losing clicks, perhaps you could ask for a quarantine of 24 hours or so

– In the evening the United blog editor, does an “around the grounds”, visiting the blogs, and can then simulpost, knowing that bloggers or webmasters who have opted in agree to having their work featured on the united blog, saves the back and forth of emails (‘can I use that piece?’ ‘yes you may’ ‘sorry, someone else did that story/event, can we use a different post?’ ‘yes you may’)

– the Editor can see what posts are available, and include a mix of current news, opinion pieces, features, researched longer pieces, cartoons, images, breaking news, perhaps weekends for more relaxed personal stories rather than hard-hitting news

– at a set time or perhaps at hourly intervals, posts are published, (opinion is divided between what people think it will be like – Huffington post, Progressive alternative to daily newspapers, or a rival to crikey) this is flexible

– All contributing bloggers can be listed in an “editors” page which means anyone can be editor, it is just a matter of visiting the blogs or websites or flickr page and simulposting, no one blog or website becomes the face of the united blog – the original blogs are the public face

– comments can be left on the united blog (yes it will take away from clicks on your personal blog, but may enhance your reputation too) but this could eventually build up to defacto Forum

– by uniting it can bring together smaller blogs that post infrequently, or those who post on specific topics, the reputations of all blogs and websites and flickrs can be enhanced, and maybe begin to challenge the dominance of the Right Wing narrative in the existing media

– one the united blog / website is gaining a reputation, perhaps politicians could be asked for an exclusive interview or someone similar

– submissions could be made to one of the contributor blogs (for example, Turn Left takes submissions), so the sorting out of submissions rests with contributor blogs, leaving the United Blog/Web Editor to concentrate on the United blog

New Media revolution’s here (24 june 2012)

Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here
~ Thunderclap Newman

Australian Media, whether the ABC, Murdoch or Gina – whether radio, print, television or online – has recently taken an alarming lurch to the right; at the same time, diversity is being dramatically reduced.

Truth, balance and fairness have been abandoned – and replaced with a non-stop campaign for billionaires and political parties.

It’s not too late. We can do something.

Are you a blogger, writer, investigator, photographer, graphics designers, editor, sub-editor, publicist, tweeter, fund-raiser, fact-checker, designer, social networker, reader, link provider? Do you have big ideas or attention to small details? It doesn’t matter, we need you.

The old media is in the hands of billionaires with agendas — but this is a new time; we are all important and, together, we can all make a difference.

For all voices of social democracy, free speech.

The idea is for a website that selects and publishes – with excellent production values – the very best blogs daily. A new resource that brings the best from the online world to one place, free from the bias of Murdoch mainstream media.

From across the spectrum, covering a range of topics, breaking news and investigative pieces – and everything in between.

Together, we are stronger.

If you want to see something different than what we currently are being dished up by mainstream corporate media, we want to make that happen. And we want your help to make that happen.

If you have had the thought “Somebody should do something, and that somebody is us” – whether as contributor, assistant, organiser, publicist, or information provider – or if you just want to be part of a New Media revolution, let us know you’re in by email, comment, or tweet.
written by 99 of Turn Left, with Independent Australia, and others

Email: Count Me In – New Media or
Tweet: @turnleft13

It’s Time.